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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

This Is Happening

LCD Soundsystem at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI was there. In 2010. On a Tuesday night in May at the Kool Haus in Toronto. I was there when LCD Soundsystem, here from New York City, played what might have been their last show in the city. I saw them support of their third album, This Is Happening. I was there when LCD Soundsystem took my recollection of the only other time I’ve seen them, at Austin City Limits in 2007 which I found, maybe because of the early afternoon set time, kind of passive and unengaging but still entertaining. I was there when they showed me how very wrong I was, except for the entertaining part. And even that was gross understatement. Because LCD Soundsystem, at least on this night, was nothing short of amazing.

I was there when despite being surrounded by a legion of players and a forest of gear and despite looking more like a high school gym teacher than a rock star, James Murphy made bellowing into an old-school, CB-style microphone with either his talk-singing or Bowie-crooning vocals the most riveting thing you’ve ever seen. Never mind working the drums or the cowbell. I saw the rock kids and the dance kids and the punkers and the ravers and the jocks and the hipsters came together for almost two hours of insanely tight and irresistibly rhythmic common ground and make it feel like this discofied union is how things should always be. I heard James Murphy make the case for LCD as music for moving the ass while stimulating the brain. I heard James Murphy make the case for LCD as music for deep thought while shaking the ass. I was there when he made the case for being old as being awesome. I saw LCD Soundsystem turn a concert into a party.

I heard Murphy touchingly dedicate a stirring rendition of “All My Friends” to legendary and beloved Toronto artist and impresario Will Munro, who passed away from cancer this weekend. I was there when they busted out the laser show. I was there during the encore when things got a little rough up front and Murphy had to stop “Losing My Edge” to let security do their thing. I saw him ask the audience, while emphasizing that he was coming from the most positive place, to bring their enthusiasm down just a notch so as to not hurt anyone. I was there when they closed out with “New York I Love You” and its “Empire State of Mind” coda and despite this being Toronto, we felt that love and returned it.

I was there. And it was awesome.

Panic Manual was there. Chart was there. eye was there. Exclaim was there. The Georgia Straight and Montreal Gazette weren’t there but they have interviews.

Photos: LCD Soundsystem @ The Kool Haus – May 25, 2010
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Drunk Girls”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Someone Great”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “North American Scum”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Tribulations”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk Is Playing”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Movement”
Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”
MySpace: LCD Soundsystem

Baltimore-based but Anglo-influenced synth-pop trio Future Islands will be at Double Double Land (209 Augusta in Kensington Market – it’s okay, I had to look it up too) on June 7. Their debut album In The Air came out earlier this month. Apparently they’re quite good live, and are Guardian-approved. The Santa Barbara Independent has an interview.

MP3: Future Islands – “Tin Man”
MP3: Future Islands – “In The Fall”
Video: Future Islands – “Tin Man”

Philadelphia Weekly, The Sydney Star Observer and The Village Voice chat with Holly Miranda.

Pitchfork has details on The Orchard, the sophomore record from Ra Ra Riot, due August 24. They are at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 28 supporting Tegan & Sara and City & Colour.

The Daily Emerald talks to John Roderick of The Long Winters.

The AV Club talks to Ben Bridwell of Band Of Horses, who are playing the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Paste talks to Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff. BSS play the Toronto Islands on June 19. The trailer for the Bruce MacDonald-helmed Broken-themed/set/soundtracked-yet-fictional film This Movie Is Broken is now available to view; the movie opens on June 25, details over at Exclaim.

Trailer: This Movie Is Broken

Carl Newman of The New Pornographers may now reside in America, but he’s still Canadian enough to teach The New York Times a thing or two about maple syrup. The New Pornographers are at the Sound Academy on June 15.

NME reports that Arcade Fire’s third album will be entitled The Suburbs and be out on August 2 in the UK, presumably August 3 in North America. It looks like this. The single for the title track is out today. It is streaming at their website. They play the Toronto Islands on August 14.

Chromeo are at the Phoenix on August 3 with Holy Ghost! – who opened up for LCD on Tuesday – as support. Their new record Business Casual drops August 17.

Video: Chromeo – “Night By Night”

MusicOmh and Chart interview Holy Fuck. They are at the Molson Amphitheatre on July 9 opening up for Metric.

Tiny Mix Tapes, SEE and The Washington Post talk to Dan Snaith of Caribou.

By : Frank Yang at 8:26 am
Category: Concert Reviews

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RSS Feed for this post8 Responses.
  1. lustandfury says:

    Wow that LCD show sounds like it was pretty amazing…

  2. danieljosef says:

    Great review Frank. You captured the night perfectly. One of the best shows I have seen in a long time. It’s funny, I’ve been a big fan of their recordings but seeing them live took their music so much further. Amazing.

  3. sonar ray sue says:

    Very seldomly does a review come along that makes me regret the things I did the night of, instead of being at the show. This is not one of them. But a well written one nevertheless.

  4. lalitree says:

    Future Islands are amazing live. Bring your dancing shoes.

  5. PG says:

    LCD was and could quite likely remain my Show of the Year!

  6. Bruce says:

    Frank, nice review-in-the-style-of (but hope you’re not thinking that you’re) Losing My Edge. So are you saying the people in the crowd were actually really, really, nice?

    That was indeed an incredible show. While it was uniformly awesome, there were moments (Pow Pow, I’m talking to you) when I found myself feeling the exact, and I mean exact same feeling that I had witnessing Talking Heads performing rhythmic wonders like Crosseyed and Painless or Born Under Punches at the Heatwave Festival in 1980. (OK, do I have to say it? I was there.) Just euphoric.

    Murphy did have some great banter over the course of the evening, didn’t he? My favourite was his exhortation to the crowd to put away their cell phones/PDAs and just Be There. I’ve been waiting to hear that said from a stage for quite some time.

  7. thomaus says:

    It was cool that Band of Horses’ Is There a Ghost closed out the Flash Forward finale tonight. (I’m pretty sure that bit of info isn’t a spoiler.)

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